Google may be making its first serious attempts at taking on the likes of Nvidia's GeForce Now and Sony's PS Now with its own game streaming service. Details are scant but it's codename is Yeti and could include a controller and console. It could also work with Google Chromecast. According to The Information, the search giant is planning for a serious foray into game streaming, which is currently a nascent market.
"An early iteration of Yeti was designed to work with the Chromecast TV streaming stick, according to a person familiar with the project and another person who was briefed about it. More recently, Google has been testing a hardware gaming console for running the Yeti service, one of the people said. Yeti also includes a hardware controller that’s used to play the games, developed by Google’s hardware team," the report from The Information reads.
At the moment though, it's unknown if any of the major game developers or publishers will support Yeti and to what capacity. Furthermore, it's also unclear if they would simply port their existing games over to Yeti or make games exclusively for it, if they plan to support it.
This follows Google's hiring of Phil Harrison, a longtime video game industry veteran. Harrison held key positions at Sony and Microsoft before joining Google.
It will be interesting to see how Google plans to monetise such a service. Considering how the bulk of revenue generated on Google Play is via advertising, the possibility of Yeti being a premium service is intriguing, more so when content moderation and curation hasn't been its biggest strengths in past endeavours. Nonetheless, this move could give video game streaming the shot in the arm it needs. Provided of course, the company has found a way to deal with bandwidth hassles that eventually crop up with every game streaming business model.